High rep strength training, cardio intervals, HIIT, Tabata, Crossfit, Bootcamp, Insanity, P90X, 21-DayFix, hot yoga, barre, Piyo, Zumba. What type of exercise should you do to improve your fitness?
Should you follow a low carb diet? Eat paleo? Attend Weight Watchers? Cycle your carbs? Fast intermittently? Exercise on an empty stomach? Stock up on Shakeology?
With so many options out there, is it any wonder that newcomers to exercise (or those returning to healthy living after a hiatus…) have no idea where to start?
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably tried more than a few of the above approaches. Perhaps you’ve stuck with one long enough to see results. More than likely though, you’ve jumped from program to program, attracted by the ‘next best thing’ and it’s promises of fat loss, muscle gains, more energy, six-pack abs and dropped dress sizes.
I’m going to tell you a secret.
There’s nothing magical about any of the programs I listed above. (Think about it, if there were, everybody would be doing that program to the exclusion of all other programs and those of us espousing a different approach would be out of business 😉 ).
Unless you’re a long-time exerciser with very specific performance goals, it doesn’t really matter which approach you take. Stick with any program long enough and you’re bound to become a fitness success.
Everything you need to know to be a fitness success
- It doesn’t really matter what workout program you follow, as long as you follow it consistently. For general fitness improvement, the best thing you can do is find something you enjoy and will do regularly. Take a look at the fittest women you follow on Facebook. Chances are some of them are runners, some are barre fanatics and some lift weights exclusively. There’s more than one path to fitness. Find yours.
- It doesn’t really matter what diet plan you follow, as long as you follow it consistently. When it comes to eating for health (including weight loss and performance gains), the biggest predictor of success is adherence. Find an approach that you enjoy and can see yourself following for years to come. If it feels too restrictive, it probably is.
- Don’t be tempted by trends. What’s popular isn’t necessarily the program or plan that will work for you. You may not enjoy it. It may fall out of vogue. You may get injured doing it. Fitness doesn’t need to be fashionable to work. Good old body weight exercises have always gotten the job done.
- Own your choices and the consequences. Remind yourself that you have control over every single fitness-related decision you make. Those 24-hours in the day? Yours to spend as you choose. What to put in your grocery cart? Entirely your decision. There’s nobody who can do this for you. The good news? When you’re successful, there’s nobody else to share the credit with!
- Be confident in the knowledge that you’re the expert of you. Who’s know you longer than you? If you’ve tried a variety of exercise and nutrition programs, you’ll already know which approaches suit your lifestyle best and are most likely to be sustainable. Pay attention to how your body responds to food and exercise. Don’t be afraid to do things differently than the ‘experts’ suggest. You’re the expert of you.
Although I offer an online fitness program catering to the specific needs and goals of women in their 40’s and 50’s, my clients don’t follow a cookie-cutter program. Together, we learn to listen to our bodies and practice ‘being the detective’ to determine our own specific formula for fitness success.
If this sounds like a group of women you need to be a part of, consider joining us next month. Details and registration info can be found here >> #40plusfitness Online Training Program.